News commentary and predictions of political trends and what the future holds

Archive for July, 2011

A new politics

July 31, 2011

With the American Left and Right essentially at war on the role of Government, we question if flip flopping between two opposing systems is not economically wasteful. The point of the Left and the point of the Right can both find adherents therefore must have benefits for those parts of a society. The absence of responsibility taking the form of corruption or criminality serves to erode the social value that may be gained by egalitarianism. Conversely the sins of greed and avarice are seen as essential to a flourishing Capitalist democracy. Political democracy attempts to provide a useful feedback mechanism, correcting extremes.

Is it a realistic goal? Is it not extremely wasteful to erect huge government led structures and then abandon them at least twice in each generation?


American Default?

July 27, 2011

Legislation of a debt ceiling does not absolve the US from its obligations.

UPDATE: The 14th Amendment of the Constitution clearly states that Congress must not default on its obligations.

While the USA frantically tried to save the world with a nuclear arsenal they could never use and military overspending on wars that did no good, we see the East’s rise to financial domination by engaging huge numbers of lowly paid workers to export in a way that nobody was able to compete with. If you want something manufactured, get it done in China has been the wisdom of the past 60 years. Market forces!

The agenda of the lever pullers seems to be to froce the USA to default and evade repayment. By making it effectively illegal for the USA to meet its obligations, the USA will have to default. The net effect of the USA not borrowing any more is being described in philosophic terms – what would the result be?

I think the answer to that not yet knowable. But certainly creditor nations will invest elsewhere and perhaps it will be the final straw that breaks US economic hegemony. Time for a new deal?

If Obama was to be effective, he needed the Democratic support in his first two years. Sad that they fiddled while the midterm elections were lost. Back to American isolations, anyone?

Guardian article


The Republican End Game

July 25, 2011

The Republican “end game” would be everything owned by big corporations not necessarily aligned with nations as entities but freely enriching shareholders from anywhere avoiding tax as their earnings are processed where there are no taxes.

If these mega corporations are able to employ everyone for a pittance then we are buying into a return to slavery.

Is this essentially the same model that makes China appear successful? Enslavement of the majority for the benefit of the few. The problem with the Republican End Game is the loss of what America is – the most rewarding economy for invention. As these corporations become less answerable to Government, they become more able to break the covenant of fairness. The Murdoch empire is a case in point. A corporation which supported a culture of law breaking that believed it could do this with impunity, which it did for twenty years before a single case sharpened public revulsion with the practice. That is what democracy does, it pitches the majority against the business interest and belief of an individual who learns that the end justifies the means time and again.

Democracy allows for peaceful revolution. An absence of democratic principles as in the case of Libya demands more severe responses. The essential problem here is a duality where both sides are destructive to each other. A unified system that causes progress according to long term principles appears have delivered stable growth in China for the last 3 decades by enforcing cheap exports to the world while the West has been experimenting with Freedman’s economics, gambling as though it were an addict. When cronyism and corruption abide, and capital exists only for its own maintenance, there are economic distortions that will result in disasters.

The West can rescue itself by very progressive and specific Government spending on the correct programmes. Education for all, being the most important. Obama decided to invest in rescuing mortgages and jobs but with poor returns. The Republicans want to reduce taxes and spending and leave America a first world city state in a third world country.

See also: Huffington Post


The Norway Killing

July 23, 2011

Although most of us have that part of being human that loves others, a few do not. It is hard to spot absences as we are tuned to see things that are odd or out of place. The real horrors are ones that appear to have no basis in the shared world, but the horrors that are expressed from the mind of a terrorist.

This is an aspect of murderous insanity that supports the death penalty, at least their malign influence is truncated. But the danger of putting innocents to death is far greater. Merely because for each guilty person, there are millions of innocents.

In the calculations of war this may make little difference. But a society that is based on fear is a weaker society. Real effort is expended due to purpose and intent. An atmosphere of threat can breed indifference. Neglect may breed resentment Abuse breeds inappropriate behaviours.

However, average children being adequately educated universally and who are not hungry or mutually disadvantaged by the greed of the majority such that their education is not a principled priority of the state.

Universal medical care is a given. If this is too expensive, then perhaps so should firemen, plumbers and maintenance technicians should also be paid more, as well as everyone else, so that universal medical care can be a given, it an be afforded and resourced. This must not preclude a private medical service available with private insurance, which may compete with the universal benefit by boosting its effect.


Dear Mr Murdoch

July 20, 2011

See The Media Conglomerate on Media Nightmare (a Disturbing Trends site) for more on the Murdoch Scandal


Media Conglomerates

Monopolies only serve the elite that own them. They reduce choice while increasing unjustified costs to the consumer. As long as they work “within the law” these increasingly global and increasingly bland enterprises reduce the quality of communication and considered action. Morality is given a bad name by all the false moralising, but the constant reminders that a tabloid may invade anyone who dares to rise into the public eye is a powerful reason to fear changing the status quo.

The committee seemed to want to simply ask for an admission that there was complicity with law breaking; crime by an individual is the assertion given in the defence of corporate malfeasance, but you only need look at the product of the organisation to realise our emotional responses are what they have become so expert at producing, because there is no other real value in exposing celebrity underwear than inducting a path for the lowest common values we all fear.

When you balance the thousands and thousands of unknown individual affected by privacy intrusion, it is a corporate liability of billions that Murdoch has confirmed is still to be settled. It happened as a result of the organisation’s goals and activity. It is not a culture of corruption, that is still a euphemism. It is policy and it must start at the very top as the entire organisation is in the business of emotional manipulation, also known as entertainment.


The Real Economic Crisis

July 19, 2011

Population growth is the core disturbing trend that can only get more intense and unsolvable as religious belief and economic priorities define our politics.

Our brains quiver at the figures presented in the EU and the USA of debt mountains that appear increasingly insurmountable. We forget that we are barking at the moon, criticising the figures but ignoring what they are measuring. We care more about our economic scorecard, consider political alignment a sign of sanity, and criticise green thinkers and the Left as a form of irrationality.

Chinese economic growth and its growing domination on the economic stage say two things. One is that huge populations bestow economic muscle, and the other is that exploitation of need allows an export economy to outpace consumption. The problem that the West is threatened by is consumers believe their largess is a birth right. The wars of religious beliefs have been an expression of fear in our DNA, we have evolved a need for huge explosions in population and thus require economic growth to sustain consumption. The deterioration on our environments is more of a political issue than a scientific one. And for the fundamentalists who control much of the political thinking in America large families and environmental destruction are seen as religious duty.

These are all forces that could contribute to our eventual demise, and the sixth mass extinction. Humans are so many and so greedy. Nobody wants to surrender luxury in favour of their grandchildren. Nobody wants to give up on greed.

As our population keeps edging up and up, we seem unable to restrain ourselves.

Contraception is not the only solution required. It is a new economics and religious philosophy that allows all life to continue ad infinitum that is required. It is realising that our thinking has brought us to where we are, for example: threatened fish stocks and climate change will suddenly and drastically reduce populations and then our intellectual infrastructure is undone. War, famine and plagues do not save us from ourselves, we are but a blip on the geological time scale, but a blip that has changed the nature of nature and the meaning of survival.

Our inability to manage the relatively simple calculus of economics does not bode well for the more complex management required to prevent ecological doom. A nation may be able to default on sovereign debt, but we can not hide from extinctions of vital parts of the food chain.

See also – http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jul/18/population-7-billion-planet

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malthusian_catastrophe


Scale of the intrusion

July 12, 2011

The police have contacted only 170 of nearly 4000 cases of mobile phone hacking, in addition to over 5000 instances of landline interception.  Those numbers were in the original files.

It appears that there is a complete lack of cooperation from News International.  It appears that there is a case to be examined regarding payments to police.


Hacking the PM

July 11, 2011

Rebbekah Brooks or Wade offered the police to be a witness in the crimes of News of The World.  Witness?  She was the Editor at the time of some of them.  She claims the hacking was news to her, and then she warned more and worse was to come.  Her instincts seem to be borne out by treasonable behaviour of News of the World – bugging senior Government ministers, in this case, the Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Who do they expect  will take responsibility for this?  Rebekkah Brooks or Rebekkah Wade should start admitting to something as it becomes increasingly obvious to everyone in the world that she is still responsible for an important role in the news media and has voiced previously how she would take down politicians.  Murdoch should be charged with criminal negligence.  I am not sure how Rebekkah Wade or Brooks will defend her reputation.  Interference with bank records and medical records of a sitting PM.  Someone appears to believe they are beyond the law.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/11/phone-hacking-news-international-gordon-brown

News International share holders are getting uneasy with the Murdoch way.

 


Australian Government Clean Energy Policy

July 10, 2011

Is this a refreshing change in tactic – is Australia leading the world in creating a future that it is reasonable to invest in, the crumbling economy based on oil will ultimately fall over.  Oil will get more and more expensive in political and economic relationships.  It will undo China as it has undone many Western economies.  It has been a growth industry and will continue to be until it starts to become more expensive to drill it than other methods – and if those other methods are non-polluting, that is a distinct advantage.  If they are free of excessive cost, or have no operating costs (an efficient means of collecting solar energy) beyond capital costs (interest) and maintenance, it means that power is a flexible commodity like much open source software that oils the wheels of business and life in a general sense improving life for all.

 


Politics and the Media

With the wilful demise of  The News of the World, we have witnessed the worst catastrophe in journalism’s history. With it comes the mass rejection of malign journalism. That is the line we must draw.

The Murdoch brand may be damaged beyond comprehension. Any Government that is cavalier enough to approve BSkyB will be remembered by history alongside King John.

Our country does not benefit by any corporate criminal activity. The media affects how we perceive things. Therefore political alliances with the media is corruption.

 


British Media

July 8, 2011

The newspapers are fruit dying in the tree, falling off trunks already crumbling with rot,  branches sweep low, drop into the swamp.

The television channels blurt out judgements by the hour as politicians entertain their captains who seem to believe they are creating reality and have therefore some right to listen in to their creations so employ people to collect information turning a blind eye to the methods, legal or illegal, that may have to be employed to arrive at the articles they have published.  The failure to question this and for management to be subject to a level of discipline that befits the crime the board would have to have examined this, so instead of putting it right, a news institution is hijacked for dark purposes and then to essentially commit crimes of some magnitude, from which it published salacious details that seemed extraordinarily personal and indeed were the result of wire taps into the private lives of people, thereby subjecting them to criminal intrusion and electing to play puppet master and implicate themselves into police investigation.

The application of the law by police who have accepted bribes to not investigate serious breaches of personal integrity and basic law by a commercial organisation that intends to control a much larger slice of things than anyone should, thus weakening democratic intelligent examination of truth by certifying salacious lies and exposures of illegally obtained information they had no legal right to obtain let alone promulgate and which they did with no regard to the actual harm they may have caused to potential legal positions.

And the discussion is not of what to do about things but how to appear to the voters.


Competalism

July 7, 2011

Communism is dead! Capitalism is killing itself, rapidly. We need a better system: maybe Competalism*?

The Agora of the Competalists is documented from 250BC:

The Competialists were freedmen and slaves of Italian descent who took their name from the annual Roman festival of the Lares Compitales, the gods of the crossroads. The agora that bears their name was built in the 2nd century BC, and the offertory box decorated with snakes dates to c. 150 BC. The Stoa of Philip was dedicated to Apollo by Philip V of Macedon c. 210 BC.

Citation/References: Bruneau, P. and Ducat, J. Guide de Delos (Paris: Ecole Francais d’Athenes, 1965).

Manifesto

  1. The Competalist believes that all economic actions benefit by competing with others, without the destruction of ideas but the fostering of ideas in discussion and examinations of truth or utility.
  2. It is true that competence is derived from training and education.  When two similar forces compete, there is clearly going to be a winner and a loser – the loser being the one that wins less or does not survive the battle of wits.
  3. Competition is the crossroads of success and competence building.
  4. A failure of competence is not a sign of weakness, indeed the preservation of truth does not imply that other less successful truths may have value in a complex world or at a future date.  It means that another force, has been able to adapt to the present circumstances and those that trained them in this competence should now be able to train the loser.
  5. Weakness is giving up, not contributing, doing less to survive than is done for you.  Those who made this their practise shall be considered to be criminal or negligent or both.  They shall bear greater pressure on taxation.
  6. The state is the collective might of captial.  Those with more must invest it to make those in whom they rely upon for competence more able to pay their own way.
  7. Slavery is a crime.
*Competalism was first identified on Twitter from http://twitter.com/#!/nicotatz

Economic solutions

July 5, 2011

Greece and Portugal can sell their gold reserves, the price is very high and that fuels speculation. By putting their gold onto the market gradually, they can keep up with loan repayments. Government spending is necessary during a recession or businesses could change their behaviour. Like paying taxes. Like buying gold reserves and opening offices in countries like Greece.

The rise of the global corporate has enabled cross border legal theft of taxes from the economies of many countries. Is this a pressure from the one-world-government Bilderberg conference confirming years of conjecture by “conspiracy theorists”? Or is the intent to create corporations that exist outside the rule of law? What will stop them becoming feral when even under the auspices of the US government, we had rife corporate misdealings such as Enron and MCI who falsified accounting information to keep share prices suspended higher than they should have been, attracting investment they basically ended up wasting. Or Lehman Brothers who made very irrational decisions with bound to fail one day securitization deals. Corporate theft by Bernie Maddoff happening right under the collective noses of law enforcement, the Inland Revenue Service, the banks and Wall Street.

What if a multi trillion global corporation falls into the hands of corruption? How will that damage every nation states’ progress and growth? Or is that already happening – for example who is motivated to write thousands of computer viruses? Corporate criminals would have the skills. The Mafia probably do not. The West (and Google) point fingers at the Chinese Government. Corporations are more likely to gain from harming their competitors. Is there a war between China and the West? Not really, no. No evidence of that, but are there corporations who have proven they are not to be trusted? Lots.

So instead of regulating the high flyers to merely protect the public from expedential uninsurable risk they pose, why not regulate corporations at the international level to make them more responsible to trade balances and the well being of all?

Why not give the very largest corporations humanitarian projects and social responsibility?

America can get out of debt tomorrow. How? By selling its corporations.


It’s a stupid economy

July 3, 2011

While the rich executives of bailed out banks get enormously richer they are laying off staff the bank can not afford to keep. The award of ridiculously huge bonuses is justified by a government scared that these talented market manipulators will go and work overseas. The lack of any real wage growth for the broad middle class is a festering sore on the economic fortunes of the world. If the only customers that can afford your product are 0.5% of the economy then you had better be selling a very high priced item. This creates a scarcity of reasonably priced items when there are increasing numbers of middle class debtors who both owe and now own the banks.

It is a stupid economy. It is not improving the lives of the many, it is rewarding greed and extraordinary indulgence by those who believe they deserve wealth because of manipulations of the market and capital. The result of this free market economy is massive capital flows, debt leveraged and re-leveraged into Government securities and the economic imbalances inflicted upon the East by the West is being replayed back. This is the action of a highly organised Politburo that has longevity of planning over the power of a Western democracy that changes direction and elects officials without sufficient economic acumen to understand the long term risks of excessive debt to one’s very currency, fully expecting that an assumed survival of the fittest aspect of nature will win against careful management for economic survival and economic growth on a scale that is bound to eclipse the West sometime sooner than the West thought possible.

Economics is not a science of certainties. It is the art of fluid dynamics in maybe eight dimensions with all sorts of constraints and purposeful transfers of capital liquidity. It is no longer practical to lug pounds of gold across hallways as there is more money than there is security. If a massive default were to occur, with America owing the rest of the world trillions, world trade could cease up for many countries reliant upon American trade as a major market. The international depression that would follow would mean China could never be repaid. So what would that mean, exactly?

It would mean the wholesale takeover of American assets by people who do not live in America, exploiting Americans who are hungry for jobs. When the public sector is reduced to a slither of its former self in the UK, we could be similarly vulnerable, which is why the conservatives decided they would deconstruct government spending in a hurry, so that what assets the British had left, business and property wise, would remain in British hands.

But instead of that result we see a fear that bankers will go to richer pastures and huge bonuses going to many investment capitalists (including those who caused the vacuum that keeps current capital in a collapsed state). Why does someone need to be paid tens of millions of pounds?

Is it because the Government believes that investment capitalists will naturally more likely invest this capital into British companies than the middle classes would with all that Government spending supporting future generations and universal health.

Economic growth follows if you make children into employable well educated adults. A system that does not ensure mobility is less likely to allow for any real growth. Increasing the presence of excessive capital into property or shares creates a bubble that may attract foreign exchange but real value is transferred by people making things work.

Government Spending is the buffer that allows growth after a recession because all the supportive structures have not been neglected. The next generation is prepared to take the reigns.

See also:
Paul Krugman in the New York Times
Fiscal U-turn would be a tricky manoeuvre